Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mennonite Bread and Butter Pickles

When we planted the garden this year, one of my goals was to be able to make 1-2 years worth of pickles for our pantry.  So far the cucumber vines are holding up their end of the bargain!  We've done refrigerator pickles and quick dill pickles, it was time to throw bread and butter pickles into the mix.

This recipe is one we got from my mother-in-law years ago.  Josh's family has some Mennonite friends and I believe this recipe originally came from them.  I only had enough cucumbers to do a half-batch, but the directions are for a full batch

Mennonite Bread and Butter Pickles
makes about 5-6 pints
4 quarts sliced cucumbers
3 medium onions, sliced
2 bell peppers, chopped
1/2 c canning salt
ice cubes

3c white vinegar
5c sugar
1/2tsp tumeric
1/2tsp celery seed
2Tbsp mustard seed

Mix the cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt in a large bowl
Cover with ice and let sit at least 3 hours.  You can leave them overnight in the fridge if you want
After cucumbers have soaked, mix vinegar, sugar, tumeric, celery seed and mustard seed in a large pot until dissolved.  Prepare jars and lids.
Drain cucumber mixture well and add to syrup.  Heat to boiling

Pack cucumbers into jars leaving a 1/2 inch head space.  The salting step makes these pickles slightly crisp, but if you want really crunch pickles, add a heaping 1/8tsp pickle crisp to each jar.  Add leftover syrup to jars to cover cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch head space. 

Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes for pints if you are below 1,000 feet elevation (15 minutes for 1,001-6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).
If you are new to canning, read up on the basics at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

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